It was music to be heard, not listened to. It was the soundtrack to the relaxed, sophisticated, mature vision of the good life. It was music for lovers. It was upbeat, elaborately arranged, chart-toppingly popular, and yet has been almost written out of the popular music history books, dismissed as “elevator music”; soulless, toned-down, pre-chewed, limp cover-versions of popular songs for old people. So sit back, put aside the politics and angst, slip into something comfortable (preferably with someone of similar description), and allow yourself to experience The Joy of Easy Listening [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
A Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature. 1967 Oscar winning animated short by John & Faith Hubley. (SLYT)
If it's highly virulent earworms you're looking for, you will probably want to check out "Spanish Flea," an irrepressibly cheerful song written by Julius Wechter and recorded by Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass. This slight, two-minute instrumental from 1965 (originally with lyrics by Cissy Wechter) has become so popular as 'waiting room music' and 'hold music' that it's become a cliche of the genre, and it's quite likely that you've heard at least a snippet of it at some point in your life. (Perhaps repeatedly, late at night, at your local supermarket?) It's been used for several film soundtracks (American Pie 2, Ocean's Eleven, Striptease, etc.) and, perhaps most famously, as one of the theme songs for the show "The Dating Game." Of course, in the most striking gauge of its cultural ubiquity, The Simpsons has referenced it not one but four times (only two are available on youtube). The song's infectious melody has spawned innumerable homages, ranging from interesting to amusing to thought-provoking to imbecilic to bizarre.